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Absence of Judge stalls El-Zakyzaky, Wife’s Trial

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The arraignment of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat over alleged culpable homicide Thursday suffered a setback due to the absence of the presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada of a Kaduna High Court. 

The accused was arraigned by the Kaduna State Government on an eight-count charge, including conspiracy, unlawful gathering, abating culpable homicide and other related offences. 

Counsel to Zakzaky’s Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), told newsmen that the judge was unavoidably absent to take the case. 

He confirmed that both the prosecuting and defence counsels have decided and picked July 1, 2018 as the next adjourned date. 

However, Mr. Falana faulted the action of police for preventing journalists and commuters who were interested to witness the proceeding, contending that there was no law in the country which stops people from witnessing the proceeding of a trial of any citizen. 

It would be recalled that the IMN Leader and his wife first appeared in court for arraignment on May 15, 2018. 

However, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Dari Bayero then asked for more time to enable the prosecution serve the two other persons standing trial with the Shiites leader. 

Following the Thursday arraignment, major highways leading to Kaduna High Court along Independence Way in Kaduna metropolis were closed down. 

In addition to this, journalists who have besieged the court premises to cover the proceeding were barred from entering by heavily armed security operatives stationed at all strategic points leading to the court. 

Earlier, Shiite members Wednesday clashed with the police during a protest along Ahmadu Bello way, demanding the release of their leader. 

Troubled started in December 2015, when IMN members allegedly made an attempt on the life of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai along Abuja-Kaduna highway. 

The encounter forced a fierce engagement between Zakyzaky members and military men, leading to causalities on both sides. 

Zakyzaky was subsequently arrested by the police, detained by the Department of State Security DSS in Abuja since and lately arraigned by the Kaduna State Government.

 

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